Whitney Houston ‘died from drugs and NOT from drowning’ family ‘are told by coroner’ as fears grow over mental state of her daughter
- ‘Coroner tells family not enough water in singer’s lungs to conclude she had drowned’
- ‘She had already died before her head went under the water’
- Daughter Bobbi Kristina, 18, found asleep in hotel bathtub just 24 hours before
- Fears grow teenager is suicidal after she is hospitalised TWICE since mother’s death
- Star found under water after mixing a cocktail of prescription drugs with alcohol, it is claimed
- Award-winning star was on ‘brink of bankruptcy’ having ‘frittered away pop fortune on crack cocaine’
Whitney Houston died from mixing a cocktail of Xanax and other powerful prescription drugs with alcohol, it has been reported.
Her family has allegedly been told by Los Angeles County Coroner officials there was not enough water in her lungs to conclude she had drowned in her luxury hotel bathtub and in fact died before her head went under water, said gossip website TMZ.
The revelations come as it emerged that her daughter Bobbi Kristina, 18, allegedly fell asleep in a bathtub in the same Beverly Hilton hotel just 24 hours before her mother died. TMZ claims security was called to unlock the door and to help the 18-year-old on that occasion.
Relatives now fear Bobbi Kristina has become suicidal – after she was rushed to hospital twice in the 24 hours following the discovery of her mother’s dead body in the bathtub of a Hollywood hotel.
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Emergency: Whitney Houston’s only daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown (centre) was rushed to hospital the day after her superstar mother was found dead. The exact cause of Bobbi Kristina’s emergency is unknown, but initial reports say she is having a complete meltdown in the wake of her mother’s passing
Devastation: Singer Ray J leaves the Beverly Hilton Hotel with his head in his hands after visiting the body of his former girlfriend Whitney Houston who was found dead in her bathtub
The teenager was first admitted after allegedly passing out, after drinking alcohol and then taking a sedative pill given to her by one of her mother’s entourage to calm her down, upon learning of the devastating news.
She was then pictured being taken out of the Beverly Hilton – the same hotel where her mother had died just hours earlier- on a stretcher at 10.30am yesterday and being rushed to Cedars-Sinai where she was treated for extreme anxiety.
She was released several hours later, but friends and family are still very concerned about her mental state.
Crack cocaine user Houston, 48, was found dead under the bath water in luxury suite number 434 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday afternoon, which is said to have been littered with bottles of prescription pills.
Reports vary who found her. Some suggest her aunt Mary Jones discovered her body, while others say it was her hairdresser Tiffanie Dixon.
On Thursday she is said to have gone on a ‘wild binge’ where she clashed with security guards. The next evening she ‘partied heavily, drank and chatted loudly’ with friends at the hotel bar.
Bottles of Lorazepam, Valium, Xanax and a sleeping medication were found in the hotel room, it has been claimed.
The drugs were believed to have acted as sedatives, causing her to fall asleep in the bathtub once they had been mixed with alcohol from the previous evenings.
Paramedics battled to revive the singer but she was pronounced dead at 3.55pm, hours before she had been due to perform at a pre-Grammys party at the same hotel.
Los Angeles coroner’s office has officially refused to comment on rumours that water was found on her lungs, indicating she had drowned.
It said further details will not be officially released until a police investigation is completed, which may take between one and two months, and revealed no one may visit the body while it is in their custody. But TMZ has reported otherwise.
At first it was thought that singer and reality TV star Ray-J, her on/off boyfriend who at 17 years younger dated her between 2007 and 2009 and was believed to have rekindled the romance, found the star.
But the brother of pop star Brandy, who made a sex tape with Kim Kardashian in 2003, later released a statement saying he ‘was nowhere near the scene but no less distraught’. He added that he had received ‘missed calls’ from his ex, and said: ‘We all gotta live with that.’
The last days of a star: Whitney Houston sweats profusely and appears dishevelled as she leaves the Tru Hollywood nightclub on Thursday night. She partied with a large group of friends before ‘clashing’ with security guards, right, then being driven away to her hotel, where she died yesterday afternoon
Too upset: Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston’s ex-husband (left) was in Nashville for a concert with his band New Edition just hours after her death but had to walk off stage mid-song. Right, Brown as he landed at LAX airport last night as he went to comfort devastated daughter Bobbi-Kristina
Dearly missed: Houston and boyfriend Ray J out clubbing in 2006 (left) and with her daughter Bobbi Kristina (right) at mentor Clive Davis’s pre-Grammy party last year
Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown, with whom she had a notoriously turbulent 14-year relationship riddled with drug use, was in Nashville at the time of her death and his daughter’s trips to the hospital.
Brown – whom she blamed partly for her drug issues – was said to be ‘in and out of crying fits’ upon hearing the news – but still appeared on stage on Saturday with his band New Edition, and cried out ‘I love you, Whitney!’ in the middle of the concert.
WHAT IS XANAX?
Xanax, or Alprazolam, is a sedative used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.
It usually comes in tablet form and works by decreasing abnormal excitement in the brain.
Xanax can be addictive and drinking alcohol while taking the drug is ill-advised.
Michael Jackson was known to have been using the prescription drug at the time of his death in 2009 as was actor Heath Ledger when he accidentally overdosed in 2008.
Singer Johnny Gill, one of Brown’s New Edition bandmates on tour in Memphis with the star, said: ‘Bobby is struggling and he’s devastated.’
Brown then cancelled a concert in order to be by Bobbi Kirstina’s side and was pictured last night arriving at LAX Airport.
He said: ‘I am deeply saddened at the passing of my ex-wife, Whitney Houston. At this time, we ask for privacy, especially for my daughter, Bobbi-Kristina. I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed towards my family and I at this most difficult time.’
Houston’s family also released a statement yesterday expressing their grief: ‘We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Whitney. This is an unimaginable tragedy and we will miss her terribly. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from her fans and friends.’
Celebrities, from singers and rappers to television personalities and business leaders, took to Twitter to express their sadness at the news. Stars praised the singer’s unmatched talent and passed on their wishes to her bereaved family, while others expressed their shock at how the award-winning singer passed away at the age of just 48.
‘Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston,’ said Mariah Carey, who recorded the Oscar-winning song When You Believe with the late star in 1998.
‘Shocked we’ve lost the immensely talented Whitney Houston!’ wrote fellow singer Gloria Estefan. Rihanna tweeted: ‘No words! Just tears. I honestly can’t think of anything else!!! Feels so strange being at the Grammy rehearsal right now!!’
A dark and tragic end: The body of Whitney Houston is wheeled out of the suite of the hotel in Los Angeles where she ‘drowned in the bath’ following two apparent evenings of out-of-control binges
In mourning: Ray-J, on-off boyfriend of Whitney Houston, stopped by a pre-Grammy party to meet his sister, the singer Brandy, hours after learning the news
Bee Gees singer Robin Gibb added his condolences, saying: ‘In my estimation we have lost one of the greatest voices in popular music today…but as we always learn too late….we never cherish it until it’s gone. My thoughts are with her family.’
A ‘devastated’ Mitch Winehouse, the father of late Amy Winehouse who died last year after a public battle with class A drugs, paid tribute on Twitter, writing: ‘Amy, Etta, Whitney. Their music will NEVER die. What a great girl group in heaven. Mitch’.
SALES OF HITS EXPECTED TO SOAR
Whitney Houston’s music is expected to soar to the top of the charts after the shock news of her death last night, the Official Charts Company (OCC) said.
The firm said it was already expecting a sales surge to impact on the charts, with the singer’s songs expected to take places in the Official Singles Chart and Official Albums Chart over the next week.
Although first verified sales reports will not be made until Tuesday morning, incorporating sales from Sunday and Monday, the OCC said it understood that sales are already surging.
A similar effect was seen after the deaths of Michael Jackson in June 2009 and Amy Winehouse in August 2011 as fans paid tribute by buying the artists’ singles and albums.
In summer 2009, six Michael Jackson albums hit the Official Albums Chart Top 40, including a greatest hits at Number 1, while five singles hit the Official Singles Chart Top 40, a week after the singer’s death.
Two years later, Amy Winehouse’s albums took three places in the Official Top 10, along with five singles in the Official Top 40.
The OCC described Houston as a ‘true legend’ of the UK’s Official Charts – her first UK hit Saving All My Love For You, became Official number 1 in 1985. She racked up four number one singles and 13 more top 10 singles, along with two number one albums and five more top 10 singles.
The star’s biggest hit was a cover of Dolly’s Parton’s I Will Always Love You, which featured in The Bodyguard, which became the biggest-selling single of 1992 and the 10th biggest single of 1993, according to Official Charts data.
It held the Official Number 1 spot for 10 weeks.
Former Boyzone star Ronan Keating said the severity of the singer’s problems had become apparent two years ago at the start of her comeback. He told Sky: ‘I’m devastated. I cannot believe it. It’s hard to believe she’s gone. Another legend, we’ve lost another singer, probably the greatest singer the world has ever seen.’
‘It’s very sad to see the tough times in her life. I saw her two years ago when she was trying to make her comeback and I could see that she was weathered and you could see that she had been through tough time but you could see the voice was still there and she was trying.’
Asked if the music industry does enough to look after vulnerable performers, he said: ‘It’s about the people you surround yourself with. She really got involved in bad situations and the wrong crowd of people who led her down the wrong road.’
And music mogul Simon Cowell said that before her death he had approached her to ask if she would consider becoming a judge on the next season of the U.S. X-Factor.
He also paid tribute to Ms Houston and said the warning signs that she ‘still had problems’ came after the singer made an erratic appearance on the X Factor in 2009. The performance was to promote a new album after seven years off the scene.
He said: ‘There are always moments in your life that are horrible to remember. The day John Lennon died, the day Elvis died. More recently Michael Jackson, last year Amy Winehouse and now Whitney.
‘I know quite a few people who had been working with her over the years. We all knew Whitney had issues. I last met her when she came on the X Factor. You could see at the time there were still a few problems but she was a delight to work with on the day.’
The guest appearance on X Factor – her first UK TV appearance for 12 years – was billed as the start of her comeback but the worrying performance raised concerns for her well being and she suffered an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction when her dress straps snapped.
Miss Houston then embarked on her Nothing But Love World Tour tour in 2010, but the UK leg was beset by cancellations. She was forced to reschedule the first three dates in Manchester and Glasgow after picking up a respiratory infection. She finally played her first UK gig in 11 years at the Birmingham LG Arena.
The talent show judge told Sky: ‘She probably wasn’t all together but it was still Whitney Houston and you were in the presence of a legend and I will never forget that day.
‘There are so few people like her in the world. They are a rarefied breed, these are true superstar legendary divas, but I say diva that in the nicest possible way. She had one of the best voices I heard in my life ever.’
And it was not just the music industry that felt the influence of Houston, with other celebrities expressing their condolences and thanks to the award-winning singer.
One high-profile figure to speak out was Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, who said: ‘R.I.P. Whitney Houston. Thank you for the amazing music you brought into the world.’
Whitney Houston’s death cast a shadow over the music industry’s most prestigious event – last night’s Grammys.
Stars lined up to pay tribute to the singer, who had previously won six of the awards, with X-Factor judge Kelly Rowland saying on the red carpet: ‘We lost our hero.
‘I would not be standing here today if it was not for her. My prayers go out to her mother and her daughter. If we feel this loss, I can only imagine how heavy their loss is.’
A coroner’s van leaves the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California, this morning where Whitney Houston was found dead. She is said to have ‘drowned in the bathtub’
The hotel: Whitney Houston was found dead in a bathroom similar to the one on the right, on the fourth floor of the Beverley Hilton Hotel. The hall on the left is where police and emergency workers gathered following the news of the dead star
Scene: A police van pulls up outside the Hilton after Houston’s death. Right, officers gather outside the hotel as an investigation begins into the causes of death
Thank you for the music: A fan leaves a flower at a memorial for Whitney Houston outside the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel today after the superstar died tragically yesterday at the age of 48
TRIBUTES TO A FALLEN STAR
‘One of the best voices I have heard in my life ever. A true superstar legendary diva.’ Simon Cowell
‘Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston. I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, Whitney, I will always love you.’ Dolly Parton
‘This is a sad day today, all I want to talk about is her music. She was the most beautiful woman I think I ever saw. … Thank you for giving us your talent, and one of the most beautiful voices I’ve ever heard.’ Elton John
‘Heartbroken and in tears over the shocking death of my friend, the incomparable Ms. Whitney Houston. My heartfelt condolences to Whitney’s family and to all her millions of fans throughout the world. She will never be forgotten as one of the greatest voices to ever grace the earth.’ Mariah Carey
‘I can’t believe that Whitney is gone. My heart goes out to her family, to Clive (Davis), and to everyone who knew and loved this amazingly talented and beautiful artist. I will always love her.’ Barry Manilow
‘She had everything, beauty, a magnificent voice. How sad her gifts could not bring her the same happiness they brought us.’ Barbra Streisand
‘We have lost another legend. Love and prayers to Whitney’s family. She will be missed.’ Christina Aguilera
‘Whitney Houston was the first CD I ever bought. She had a God given gift. Hopefully, she’s singing with angels now.’ LeAnn Rimes
‘I am devastated by the loss of Whitney. We have lost a true angel. My prayers, my heart goes out to her family. We have lost an extraordinary voice to the world.’ Lionel Richie
‘This is the saddest thing I’ve ever had to write in my life, R I P to one of the greatest humans that I have ever known Whitney Houston.’ Wyclef Jean
‘R.I.P. Whitney Houston. Thank you for the amazing music you brought into the world.’ Mark Zuckerberg
‘Stunned by Whitney Houston’s death at just 48. One of the greatest voices ever heard. #RIP.’Piers Morgan
‘So sad to hear the news about Whitney Houston. She was such a beautiful and talented woman. My heart goes out to her family. RIP.’Paris Hilton
‘At Grammys rehearsal hearing Whitney Houston has passed away at 48. Everyone here is absolutely stunned.’Ryan Seacrest
‘Just heard Whitney Houston passed away. Many prayers go out to her family and all who are grieving the loss of an icon.’Khloe Kardashian
Paying respects: Reverend Jesse Jackson arrives at The New Hope Baptist Church where Whitney Houston sang in the choir to mourn the death of the singer in Newark, New Jersey
Comfort: Singer Alicia Keys consoles Miss Houston’s long-time mentor Clive Davis, also the Chief Creative Officer of Sony Music Entertainment
A family meal: Miss Houston’s daughter Bobbi Kristina, left, and her ex-husband Bobby Brown get into a car after an evening out at Crustacean restaurant in Beverly Hills on February 2. Right, the singer joins her family after what will have been one of their last nights out together
Bruce Springsteen opened the show and host, rapper LL Cool J said: ‘There is no way around this. We’ve had a death in the family.’ He then led the audience in prayer to ‘our fallen sister.’ Jennifer Hudson went on to sing an emotionally charged version of one of Miss Houston’s greatest hits, ‘I Will Always Love You.’
Houston also won two Emmys, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards. Her 1985 album Whitney was the first album by a woman to ever debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Charts. She has sold more than 170million albums worldwide.
The album also gave her perhaps her most memorable hit – a stunning rendition of Dolly Parton’s I Will Always Love You, which sat atop the charts for weeks and featured in The Bodyguard in 1992.
It was Grammy record of the year and best female pop vocal, and the Bodyguard soundtrack was named album of the year. More recently Miss Houston had just completed a role in the musical Sparkle, in which she played the mother to Jordin Sparks, who has the role of a singer. The film is set to be released in August and tells the story of three sisters who form a successful group learning to cope with the fallout of fame and drugs.
But for the most part, the star’s life had spiralled downhill since her early hits. She suffered a long battle with drugs, including cocaine, as well as alcohol and spent various spells in rehab.
Recent appearances had become increasingly erratic and the years of substance abuse had clearly taken a toll. She cancelled a string of concerts and talk shows as she struggled to cope. In a chat show with Oprah in 2003, the star admitted the scale of her addiction to smoking crack cocaine. ‘It was every day, every,’ she said. ‘I didn’t think about the singing part of it any more.’
Her powerful voice began to suffer because of her demons prompting record sales to nosedive and in 2007 she split from husband Bobby Brown after 15 years of marriage. Recent reports suggested that the soul star was on the brink of bankruptcy, with her pop fortune said to have dwindled away, much of it going to her drug dealers.
What she’ll be remembered for: Looking radiant in a white one-shouldered dress, Houston gives an incomparable performance at the peak of her career when she was one of the world’s most popular singers
Child: Houston, pictured in 1965 (left), was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin. Right, pictured with Jermaine Jackson during rehearsals for a TV performance in 1984
Film: In 1992, she became a star in the acting world with ‘The Bodyguard’. The story of a singer guarded by a former Secret Service agent was a success
Famous friend: South African President Nelson Mandela and Whitney Houston smile for photographers in Johannesburg
Award success: Houston collects one of the many accolades she received throughout her career. She was a frequent winner at the Grammys and Billboard awards
Relatives: In this January 1998 photo, singer Houston, left, celebrates her win at the American Music Awards with her mother, Cissy, and brother, Gary, in Los Angeles
Relationship: Houston performs with singer Bobby Brown, left. Their turbulent marriage was the subject of tabloid gossip for years
Family: Houston, centre, poses with her former husband, singer Bobby Brown, right, and their daughter Bobbi, left, at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, in August 2004
Miss Houston performs on stage during Michael in New York’s Madison Square Garden 2001. Her emaciated appearance led to rumours she had died the next day. Right, a year later, again in New York, the singer was still struggling with a troubled relationship and cocaine abuse
The I Will Always Love You singer suffers a waldrobe malfunction on the X Factor in 2009 in what was supposed to be the start of her comeback tour. Many of the subsequent shows were later cancelled
Danni Minogue, left, Simon Cowell, Whitney Houston and Cheryl Cole, right, backstage on the X Factor. Whitney’s performance raised concerns for her health with Cowell saying the warning signs were clear
Looking back: Whitney Houston’s heyday in the Nineties was revisited at the Grammy awards Sunday night
A UNIQUE TALENT AND INSPIRATIONAL PERFORMER WITH A TROUBLED LIFE
At her peak, Whitney Houston was the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world’s best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like “The Bodyguard” and “Waiting to Exhale.”
She had the he perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise. She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.
But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanour and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.
“The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy,” Houston told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.
It was a tragic fall for a superstar who was one of the top-selling artists in pop music history, with more than 55 million records sold in the United States alone.
She seemed to be born into greatness. She was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin.
Houston first started singing in the church as a child. In her teens, she sang backup for Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and others, in addition to modeling. It was around that time when music mogul Clive Davis first heard Houston perform.
“The time that I first saw her singing in her mother’s act in a club … it was such a stunning impact,” Davis told “Good Morning America.” “To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine,” he added.
Before long, the rest of the country would feel it, too. Houston made her album debut in 1985 with “Whitney Houston,” which sold millions and spawned hit after hit. “Saving All My Love for You” brought her her first Grammy, for best female pop vocal. “How Will I Know,” “You Give Good Love” and “The Greatest Love of All” also became hit singles.
Another multi-platinum album, “Whitney,” came out in 1987 and included hits like “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
The New York Times wrote that Houston “possesses one of her generation’s most powerful gospel-trained voices, but she eschews many of the churchier mannerisms of her forerunners. She uses ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, and instead of projecting an earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance and strength, building pop ballads to majestic, sustained peaks of intensity.”
Her decision not to follow the more soulful inflections of singers like Franklin drew criticism by some who saw her as playing down her black roots to go pop and reach white audiences. The criticism would become a constant refrain through much of her career. She was even booed during the “Soul Train Awards” in 1989.
“Sometimes it gets down to that, you know?” she told Katie Couric in 1996. “You’re not black enough for them. I don’t know. You’re not R&B enough. You’re very pop. The white audience has taken you away from them.”
Some saw her 1992 marriage to former New Edition member and soul crooner Bobby Brown as an attempt to refute those critics. It seemed to be an odd union; she was seen as pop’s pure princess while he had a bad-boy image, and already had children of his own. (The couple had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, in 1993.) Over the years, he would be arrested several times, on charges ranging from DUI to failure to pay child support.
But Houston said their true personalities were not as far apart as people may have believed.
“When you love, you love. I mean, do you stop loving somebody because you have different images? You know, Bobby and I basically come from the same place,” she told Rolling Stone in 1993. “You see somebody, and you deal with their image, that’s their image. It’s part of them, it’s not the whole picture. I am not always in a sequined gown. I am nobody’s angel. I can get down and dirty. I can get raunchy.”
It would take several years, however, for the public to see that side of Houston. Her moving 1991 rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl, amid the first Gulf War, set a new standard and once again reaffirmed her as America’s sweetheart.
In 1992, she became a star in the acting world with “The Bodyguard.” Despite mixed reviews, the story of a singer (Houston) guarded by a former Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) was an international success.
It also gave her perhaps her most memorable hit: a searing, stunning rendition of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” which sat atop the charts for weeks. It was Grammy’s record of the year and best female pop vocal, and the “Bodyguard” soundtrack was named album of the year.
She returned to the big screen in 1995-96 with “Waiting to Exhale” and “The Preacher’s Wife.” Both spawned soundtrack albums, and another hit studio album, “My Love Is Your Love,” in 1998, brought her a Grammy for best female R&B vocal for the cut “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay.”
But during these career and personal highs, Houston was using drugs. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2010, she said by the time “The Preacher’s Wife” was released, “(doing drugs) was an everyday thing. … I would do my work, but after I did my work, for a whole year or two, it was every day. … I wasn’t happy by that point in time. I was losing myself.”
In the interview, Houston blamed her rocky marriage to Brown, which included a charge of domestic abuse against Brown in 1993. They divorced in 2007. Houston would go to rehab twice before she would declare herself drug-free to Winfrey in 2010. But in the interim, there were missed concert dates, a stop at an airport due to drugs, and public meltdowns.
She was so startlingly thin during a 2001 Michael Jackson tribute concert that rumors spread she had died the next day. Her crude behavior and jittery appearance on Brown’s reality show, “Being Bobby Brown,” was an example of her sad decline. Her Sawyer interview, where she declared “crack is whack,” was often parodied. She dropped out of the spotlight for a few years.
Houston staged what seemed to be a successful comeback with the 2009 album “I Look To You.” The album debuted on the top of the charts, and would eventually go platinum. Things soon fell apart. A concert to promote the album on “Good Morning America” went awry as Houston’s voice sounded ragged and off-key. She blamed an interview with Winfrey for straining her voice.
A world tour launched overseas, however, only confirmed suspicions that Houston had lost her treasured gift, as she failed to hit notes and left many fans unimpressed; some walked out. Cancelled concert dates raised speculation that she may have been abusing drugs, but she denied those claims and said she was in great shape, blaming illness for cancellations.
Watch Whitney’s final performance, recorded on Thursday
VIDEO: Whitney talked about her battle with addiction in 2002
VIDEO: Moving tributes to Whitney Houston at the Grammys